Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Archibald Knox: Liberty designer receives Manx honour

Archibald Knox
Image caption The internationally renowned Art Nouveau designer, teacher and artist died in 1933

Art Nouveau designer Archibald Knox is to be given one of the Isle of Man's highest honours for his outstanding contribution to Manx life.

The Manx artist, who became the high-end department store Liberty's chief designer in the early 20th Century, was at the forefront of the movement.

Knox, who died in 1933, will be added to the Manx Patriots' roll of honour.

The Tynwald Honours Committee said he brought the island's art "back to life, revamping and reinvigorating it".

"He left behind a remarkable legacy that continues to inspire designers and collectors to this day," a spokesman said.

"He took the Isle of Man's Celtic and Norse art history and brought it back to life, revamping and reinvigorating it almost a millennium after the original artists had passed."

Image copyright MNH
Image caption Knox was inspired by the island's Norse and Celtic stone crosses

Knox, who was born on the Isle of Man in 1864, was the fifth of seven children born to Ann and William Knox, a master cabinet maker from Scotland.

The roots of his designs can be found in his fascination with the Manx stone crosses that surrounded him in childhood.

As well as being a practicing artist and designer of 5,000 objects for Liberty, he also taught all over the world.

He died from a heart attack at the age of 68 at his Douglas home on 22 February 1933.

Image copyright MNH
Image caption Manx National Heritage holds a collection of his drawings

His name will be added to the roll of honour at the Legislative Buildings, which gives formal recognition to deceased people, after the idea was given given unanimous support in Tynwald.

Previous recipients of the honour include the first King of Mann and the Isles Godred Crovan, RNLI founder Sir William Hillary and the island's first female MHK Marion Shimmin.

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